The Miami Heat knew this game was going to be tough and it was. For three quarters, the Milwaukee Bucks were getting everything they wanted. They had a double-digit lead entering the final period. But yet, the Heat was never worried. They kept playing and took control of the fourth period to win the game. With a 3-0 series lead, the Heat are now one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.
With that said, here are my takeaways from Friday’s victory over the Bucks.
The Bucks outplayed the Heat for the first three-quarters of the game. They entered the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead. But, Miami ended up fighting back. A Goran Dragic three within the first three minutes of the quarter pulled Miami within 91-87. A couple of possessions later, Jimmy Butler got a dunk on the fastbreak that pulled Miami within 93-92.
ICE COLD JA33333333.! pic.twitter.com/OwEbilfJke— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 5, 2020
Then came the dagger. With two minutes left in the game, Jae Crowder made the three-point shot to put Miami up 107-100. In the end, Miami outscored the Bucks 40-13 in the final frame.
Butler takes over
Just as he did in Game One, Butler took over the fourth quarter. He outscored the Bucks 17-13 by himself in the fourth period. Butler, who had 19 free throw attempts in the game, kept drawing fouls on the Bucks defenders. His aggression was key to Miami staying in the game and then pulling away in the final few minutes.
Jimmy outscored Milwaukee 17-13 in the 4th QTR 🤯 pic.twitter.com/cZ0PJmgqEN— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 5, 2020
Butler led the Heat with 30 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. He also added seven rebounds and six assists.
Adebayo overcomes early foul trouble
It wasn’t a good start for the Heat’s other all-star, Bam Adebayo. He picked up two early fouls in the opening period. He had three fouls by halftime. But, Bam played more under control in the second half. He played terrific basketball on both ends of the floor. Adebayo finished the night with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocked shots.
Olynyk out, Leonard in
The Heat were without Kelly Olynyk, who missed the game with a bruised right knee. It was the first game Olynyk has missed due to an injury. The previous six games he’s missed were because of the coaches’ decision. That opened up minutes for Meyers Leonard, who made his 2020 playoff debut.
Leonard entered the game with five minutes left in the opening period. It wasn’t a good debut for the Heat center. He missed his shots and committed a bad foul on a Bucks layup that turned into a three-point play. At times, he looked unplayable out there.
Next up: Game four is on Sunday. The game tips off at 3:30 pm eastern time.
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